THE ESSENCE OF BUDDHISM by John Walters

THE ESSENCE OF BUDDHISM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Newspaperman John Walters led a self-styled adventurous life, yet existence was always a ""capsule of pleasure wrapped in a bundle of pain"", until he discovered India. Now for the edification and enlightenment of Westerners he gives us a sharp-one-minute, soft-the-next look at Buddhism and the Buddha, that system of self-discipline, self-reform which he claims never evades the realities and far transcends the Christian faith. According to Dharma (teaching) and Sangha (order), the Middle Way is best (steer clear of ravenous senses and constricting minds); understand the 4 noble truths (essentially, suffering is a universal disease caused by pseudo-egoistic cravings); follow the noble 8-fold path ( view, resolution, speech, conduct, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, concentration); bring neither hurt to others, nor shame to oneself; no intrinsic self exists: we are a combination of aggregates always in the process of becoming, a principle supported by modern day physics; the Kamma cycle (passing of moral debts from one body to another) ends only with Nirvana; no supernatural sanctions abide: ""by oneself alone is evil done, by oneself is evil avoided"". A quickie guide for the groundling, man-to-man chatter about the world's most fascinating, certainly most fabled belief.

Publisher: Crowell